28 Oct 2002

Kanaks protest over lack of involvement in Goro nickel plant

2:11 pm on 28 October 2002

digenous Kanak enterprises have called for the departure of DPH, the main contractor for the Goro Nickel plant in New Caledonia.

The one point four billion US dollar project of the Canadian concern, INCO, suffered a delay last month when Goro Nickel suddenly withdrew its staff from the site allegedly in response to a small protest.

Press reports in Noumea say the indigenous contractors feel deceived after receiving assurances from Inco's top man, Scott Hand, that locals would be considered in getting contracts.

The six local enterprises linked to an Australian bid say they have now found out that the contract to transport construction material gone to a Dutch compnay.

They say they have written to Mr Hand also asking for the supervising contractor, BTH, to leave.

A spokesman for the indigenous companies, Roger Noraro, is quoted as saying nothing would go ahead unless the local people are involved.